|LiveScience's [^] e-mail newsletter has become one of my favorite take-a-break reads, while on-line, in the last months. I groove on stories of discoveries of ancient artifacts, prehistoric critters, and their other "weird" as well as "straight" science" content.
Today's story "Stampeding Dinosaurs Were Swimming" [^] describes a new theory that what was formerly thought to be the only tangible evidence of a dinosaur stampede, fossil footprints, is ... instead ... just a relic of a stream-bed: a major river-crossing for said dinosaurs.
The thought occurred to me that in five-ten years' time, the legacy of Windows 8 might also be analogous to one of these two theories. This type of analogy is one I am undoubtedly pre-disposed to: because, I, for many years, often described what many modern real-world programmers do as "dinosaur dentistry," by which, I mean: that for every one computer scientist working on the theory of search algorithms, for every one "systems' architect," using tools like Rational Rose, or whatever, to create UML diagrams which, like architect's blue-prints are passed on as templates for the mere mortals who "build them out" ...
Yes, I believe for every "one" of those rare elite: are a thousand programmers humping code to deal with the weirdness of interfacing some hardware api to some software api, or grafting some additional feature onto legacy code whose designers are long gone.
I'm not complaining here: I "love" C# and .NET, and I think there's been enormous progress in IDE's, like Visual Studio, that virtually "walk your dog for you," but I still see the rough edges at the fringes (which I'll spare you my "take" on, here).
I will never forget while I was at Adobe (in the late paleolithic, working as the PostScript-do-all for the application division products, and later deeply involved in the creation of what became Acrobat), when PhotoShop Mac was ported to the PC. Turns out the Adobe programmers who built PhotoShop Mac's later version used Apple's kind of newer semi-OOP uber-api, MacApp.
The Windows port-team at Adobe (exceptionally bright people, as you might expect; and, for their time, of course, absolute masters of Win programming down to the registers-in-the-cpu level) that was doing the port found deciphering what was going on in MacApp such an endless maze, that they decided to build their own functionally equivalent version of MacApp for Windows, and then port to that ! I used to hear their curses, and sometimes incredible shouting-match arguments, on implementation, when I left my office door opened (yes, somehow I rated an office with windows, not a cubicle).
But, to get back on topic: I am curious as to what you think will be the legacy of Windows 8 five-ten years out.
"What do humans depend on: words ! We're suspended in language: we can never say what's up: or, down. We must communicate experience and ideas, but in ways that do not become ambiguous, and lose objectivity.
For parallels to quantum theory: we must turn to psychology, or to paradoxes thinkers like Buddha and Lao Tzu illuminated, examining reality, as both observer, and actor, in human life's small-scale micro-cosmic drama."
Niels Bohr, 1937